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CCI Halts Cotton Procurement Amid Lockdown

26 Mar 2020 10:17 am
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MUMBAI (Commoditiescontrol) - Cotton Corp of India (CCI) has halted procurement of the fibre at its centres due to closure of spot markets after the Centre imposed a 21-day nationwide lockdown to curb the rapid spread of coronavirus in the country, Chairman and Managing Director P. Alli Rani said.

"Our procurement centres across the country are closed due to absence of labour and APMC (Agricultural Produce Market Committee) officials in the market and disruption in the transport services," Rani said.

We have been asked to clear all outstanding payments to the farmers as soon as possible, she said, adding that there will be no procurement until the situation returns to normal.

The state-owned company is the government's nodal agency for purchases under the minimum support price scheme.

Procurement under the minimum support price in the current 2019-20 (Oct-Sep) marketing year has so far reached 8.2 million bales (1 bale = 170 kg), maximum of which was bought from Telangana. The agency had procured 1.1 million bales of cotton in the previous year.

The minimum support price for the medium-staple variety of cotton is Rs 5,255 per 100 kg, and that for the long staple one is Rs 5,550 per 100 kg this year.

Farmers can hold the stocks and wait for the procurement to start again as cotton is not a perishable good, she said.

Around 60 percent of the cotton has already arrived in the markets. The daily arrivals are gradually declining as the peak harvest season has come to an end. So far, around 24.4 million bales of cotton have arrived in the market.

The Cotton Association of India has pegged 2019-20 crop at 35.45 million bales, compared with 31.2 million bales last year.

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